Inclusive education laws absent in 90 per cent of countries, UNESCO report finds

by Freya Lucas

July 09, 2020

Fewer than 10 per cent of countries have laws to ensure full inclusion in education, UNESCO’s 2020 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report: Inclusion and education – All means all has found.

 

The report gives an in-depth analysis of key factors for exclusion of learners in education systems worldwide including factors such as gender, age, location, poverty, disability, ethnicity, indigeneity, language, religion, migration or displacement status, sexual orientation or gender identity expression, incarceration, beliefs and attitudes.

 

Urging countries to focus on those left behind as education and care systems return to normal following the COVID-19 pandemic, so as to foster more resilient and equal societies in the wake of the unprecedented times in which we are living, the report gives a global perspective to inclusion challenges. 

 

The pandemic, Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said, has further widened and put a spotlight on inequalities, and failing to act in response will hinder societal progress. 

 

This year’s report is the fourth annual UNESCO GEM Report to monitor progress across 209 countries in achieving the education targets adopted by UN Member States in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

 

The report’s findings are not restricted to changes required in developing nations. In the United States, for example, the report found that LGBTI students were almost three times more likely to say that they had stayed home from school because of feeling unsafe.

 

Alongside the publication, the UNESCO GEM Report team launched a new website, PEER, with information on laws and policies concerning inclusion in education for every country in the world. PEER shows that many countries still practice education segregation, which reinforces stereotyping, discrimination and alienation. 

 

Director of the GEM Report, Manos Antoninis, said COVID-19 has provided “a real opportunity to think afresh about our education systems” but that “moving to a world that values and welcomes diversity won’t happen overnight”. 

 

The report includes material for a digital campaign, All means All, which promotes a set of key recommendations for the next ten years.

 

For a summary of the report, please see here. The full version of the report may be accessed here

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